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gavino200

Kato Portram vs. Tomytec Portram - Size difference?

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The only tram I have is a Tomytec static model. The motor is on it's way as I write. It's not the same as the one below, but it looks quite similar.

 

http://buyee.jp/item/yahoo/auction/u179832878

 

I always assumed the Kato Portram was much smaller (motor in the bogie and all), but looking at it here, it seems similar. 

 

http://buyee.jp/item/yahoo/auction/u179832878

 

Are these things the same size? With the Kato model just having a smaller mechanism? 

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Good question, and i had to take mine out to compare....

 

so it seems they are almost exactly the same size... maybe the Tomytec is a tad taller, due to the larger wheels on the motorised chassis over the Kato one... but i really like the Kato one... cause they come with pre-installed head/ tail and interior lights !  Wished they made more of these though...

 

 

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From Sumida Crossing:

 

"However, the low-riding of the Kato model is actually a problem, if your track isn’t perfect. Mine would bind running through an ordinary Unitrack crossover, and would derail one end at several different places on my Express Line track where it wasn’t perfectly in alignment. Although I was able to run it on a short test-track loop, I couldn’t get it to make a full circuit of my big layout.

The Tomytec model, by comparison, ran flawlessly. I ran each in loops around the Express Line for twenty minutes to break them in, and had no problems."

 

http://www.sumidacrossing.org/Musings/files/130914_Two_Trams.php

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Yeah I’ve seen a small amount of crankiness with the kato portrams like ken mentioned, but not horrendous and easy to correct with track alignment tweak.

 

the bigger issue with the kato portrams is if something goes wrong. Since they packed the tiny motors into the trucks and made almost all the interior open like the prototype (the big big plus on the kato) it’s is a very fiddle mech to pull apart! I’ve torn apart a few hundred mechs over decades and this was the worst I’ve done and luckily I found the cat hair w.o tearing it totally apart! It is a challenge and some do just die. But that’s the cost for the Uber cool open interior! Hard to have your cake and eat it too in this situation. 

 

The tomytec mechs are big clunkers, but they are sturdy and run well. Simple if you want to pull them apart. Also pretty inexpensive.

 

shell detailing as you can see in sammy’s Picts is better on the kato but decent on the Tomytec. 

 

Other plus on the tomytec is you can pretty cheaply get a few different shells and easily exchange on the mech if you want some variety but don’t want to sink a big chunk of change into trams.

 

always tradeoffs!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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27 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

Yeah I’ve seen a small amount of crankiness with the kato portrams like ken mentioned, but not horrendous and easy to correct with track alignment tweak.

 

the bigger issue with the kato portrams is if something goes wrong. Since they packed the tiny motors into the trucks and made almost all the interior open like the prototype (the big big plus on the kato) it’s is a very fiddle mech to pull apart! I’ve torn apart a few hundred mechs over decades and this was the worst I’ve done and luckily I found the cat hair w.o tearing it totally apart! It is a challenge and some do just die. But that’s the cost for the Uber cool open interior! Hard to have your cake and eat it too in this situation. 

 

The tomytec mechs are big clunkers, but they are sturdy and run well. Simple if you want to pull them apart. Also pretty inexpensive.

 

shell detailing as you can see in sammy’s Picts is better on the kato but decent on the Tomytec. 

 

Other plus on the tomytec is you can pretty cheaply get a few different shells and easily exchange on the mech if you want some variety but don’t want to sink a big chunk of change into trams.

 

always tradeoffs!

 

cheers

 

jeff

 

 

Thanks. Any opinion on which brand seems more powerful. My tram line, by necessity will contain my least favorite track element - the dreaded incline!! Den-den-DEN!

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Having never done a pull test my guess is the Tomytec as it can go wicked fast with enough juice (one of our club members made a limited throttle when we do unitram setup for kids to play with as they could potentially fly them off the tracks) and also have a lot of weight in them for traction.mthe kato are very light. But that being said the kato does have two motors and does not have to move much weight! If I had the train table setup and time I would try an incline test for you but too many irons in the fire, maybe someone here can try for you. Maybe Sammy directly in his layout with its gradients and he has each.

 

jeff

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5 hours ago, cteno4 said:

Having never done a pull test my guess is the Tomytec as it can go wicked fast with enough juice (one of our club members made a limited throttle when we do unitram setup for kids to play with as they could potentially fly them off the tracks) and also have a lot of weight in them for traction.mthe kato are very light. But that being said the kato does have two motors and does not have to move much weight! If I had the train table setup and time I would try an incline test for you but too many irons in the fire, maybe someone here can try for you. Maybe Sammy directly in his layout with its gradients and he has each.

 

jeff

 

I'm not too worried about it. Squid has an incline and her trams manage it fine. Also, my grade should be very low. I'm just curious. I'm starting to think I don't "need" that Kato Portram after all. I like the idea of just swapping out shells with the Tomytec trams.

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the problem with the tram, is more about the traction more than the strength of the motor.... the Kato tram doesnt have any rubbers (at least not on mine though)! without good traction, the motor will find it difficult to climb slopes... whereas the tomytec ones are much stronger with rubber tires for good traction! 

 

The Kato trams are really nice, with working head and tail lights and interior lights that looks really nice in the dark.... they typically cost around 8550yen on HS (http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10119217 ), and you get a ready-to-run tram with working lights.... 

 

The Tomytec ones typically cost around 2250yen on HS (http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10346765) for the shell, and TM-LRT01 motorized chassis cost around 3420yen on HS (http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10311084). that makes a total of around 5670yen. That makes a difference 2880yen for working head and tail lights and interior lights, with interior details on it.... i would seriously prefer the Kato one if you ask me....

 

 

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In terms of inclines, I expect the Kato would be fine when it's actually on the incline, the problem I think would be the transition from incline to level, as the bodywork is so low you might run the risk of it grounding itself unless the transition was extremely gradual. This might be less of an issue on the Tomytec as, judging from the trams I have, they ride a bit higher, also the motor bogies under their chassis appear much more flexible when it comes to up and down movement.

 

This is only speculation though!

 

Another difference by the way is that the Kato chassis appears to be geared to run a lot slower while the Tomytec can go like a rocket...

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On 14/02/2018 at 9:39 AM, gavino200 said:

 

I'm not too worried about it. Squid has an incline and her trams manage it fine. Also, my grade should be very low. I'm just curious. I'm starting to think I don't "need" that Kato Portram after all. I like the idea of just swapping out shells with the Tomytec trams.

 

*his, last time I checked...

 

Never had any problems with the Kato Portram, it was happy enough with the ad-hoc curved gradients on my folded dogbone setup, which was quite horrible in terms of gradients.


OTOH it is a very fine, delicate piece of equipment so lives in its box mostly; the Tomix ones would probably be more fun from a casual use point of view...

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6 hours ago, railsquid said:

 

*his, last time I checked...

 

Never had any problems with the Kato Portram, it was happy enough with the ad-hoc curved gradients on my folded dogbone setup, which was quite horrible in terms of gradients.


OTOH it is a very fine, delicate piece of equipment so lives in its box mostly; the Tomix ones would probably be more fun from a casual use point of view...

Yes, sorry. I assumed that video you posted of the woman and child railfans was you and the "squidlet". 

 

I was impressed by how flawlessly bilingual you were!

Edited by gavino200

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